Agriculture behind economic expansion

FPCCI calls for more investments to sustain momentum, enhance food security

Our Correspondent May 25, 2024
In terms of financial support, the representative from the State Bank of Pakistan informed the FCA that allocations of institutional credit for agriculture had substantially increased to Rs1,819 billion for 2022-23. PHOTO: file


The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Agriculture reported on Friday that the agriculture sector, with a 3.94% increase, emerged as the primary engine of growth in FY24. This growth not only exceeded the target of 3.50% but also surpassed last year’s 2.27% growth rate.

FPCCI Panel Chief Chaudhry Ahmad Jawad, while briefing the media, attributed the healthy growth of the agriculture sector mostly to the double-digit growth in important crops, reaching 16.82% in FY24. This growth was primarily driven by a bumper wheat crop of 11.64%, despite unexpected challenges from the Punjab government regarding wheat farming.

Cotton production is expected to increase by 108.22%, from 4.91 to 10.22 million bales, while rice yield is projected to rise by 34.78%, from 7.32 to 9.87 million tonnes.

The FPCCI Standing Committee recommends strengthening the sector by including solid incentives for the agriculture sector in the federal budget speech to achieve a 5% growth target next year. They propose enhancing irrigation systems and water management practices to optimise water usage. Additionally, they suggest using high-quality seeds and fertilisers and allocating funds to strengthen the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department.

In terms of financial support, the committee suggests expanding the availability of credit and insurance services for farmers, with special directives to Zarai Taraqiati Bank Ltd and National Bank of Pakistan banks for a special KIBOR rate scheme. They also emphasise investing in research and development to boost crop yields, disease resistance, and climate resilience, proposing a special allocation in the Federal Budget for Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and National Agricultural Research Centre. Jawad advocates for enhanced market access and trade agreements to boost agricultural exports and improve the competitiveness of Pakistani agricultural products.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2024.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.



Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ